Game bills introduced, approved

Utah bill declaring violence "harmful to minors" emerges from committee, while new Kansas bill would fine those who sell M- or AO-rated games to children.

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A piece of violent games legislation in Utah scored a victory last week while a Kansas politician proposed his own bill, Game Politics is reporting.

A revised version of Utah Rep. David Hogue's House Bill 257, which looks to add "inappropriate violence" to the list of what constitutes material harmful to minors and thus not constitutionally protected as free speech, was approved by the House Judiciary Committee last week. The main revision to the bill was an altering of the definition of "inappropriate violence" to include the clause "in an interactive video or electronic game," presumably to prevent its application to movies, books, music, or other forms of media.

The original version narrowly failed to win a vote for recommendation from the 13-person committee with six votes for, six against, and one member absent. The substituted version of the bill won recommendation by a vote of eight for and two against, with three members absent. After being approved by the Judiciary Committee, the bill was sent to the House Rules Committee.

Meanwhile, Kansas joined the lengthening list of states considering regulation of game sales last week, as Democratic Rep. Jim Ward introduced House Bill 2921, which seeks to fine those who expose people under the age of 18 to games rated M for Mature or AO for Adults Only. The bill would impose a $1,000 fine for anyone found guilty of the misdemeanor on a first conviction, and $2,500 for subsequent convictions. A day after being introduced, the bill was referred to the Kansas House Judiciary Committee.

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